save the endangered tree octopus

Cascadia Evening Post, totally straight up and honest. Sriusly.

From my earliest childhood to my brief spell as a humble Greenpeace canvasser, I have always been acutely sensitive to the plight of endangered species, and never moreso than now that I live in one of the last great rainforests of the world.

As we hurtle ever faster towards our inevitable sterile, Logan’s Run inspired future, we shed species at a rate of approximately one every 20 minutes. Please don’t let the untamed beauty that is the Pacific Tree Octopus be lost; do not let it go the way of the dodo and the snow leopard.

But together we can work to maintain the wild herds of this noble creature. Hunted nearly to extinction for its incomparable beauty, its fate need not be sealed; indeed, it is possible that, with adequate planning and habitat preservation, we could learn to coexist with this most iconic of Cascadian cephalofauna.

Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus has the full story.

Tree Octopus RibbonShow people that you support the cause of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus by placing a Tentacle Ribbon or badge, along with a link to this page, on your website or weblog so that they can learn more. Together, we have the power to build a grass-roots campaign to save the Tree Octopus!

Why It’s Endangered

Although the tree octopus is not officially listed on the Endangered Species List, we feel that it should be added since its numbers are at a critically low level for its breeding needs. The reasons for this dire situation include: decimation of habitat by logging and suburban encroachment; building of roads that cut off access to the water which it needs for spawning; predation by foreign species such as house cats; and booming populations of its natural predators, including the bald eagle and sasquatch. What few that make it to the Canal are further hampered in their reproduction by the growing problem of pollution from farming and residential run-off. Unless immediate action is taken to protect this species and its habitat, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus will be but a memory.

The possibility of Pacific Northwest tree octopus extinction is not an unwarranted fear. Other tree octopus species — including the Douglas octopus and the red-ringed madrona sucker — were once abundant throughout the Cascadia region, but have since gone extinct because of threats similar to those faced by paxarbolis, as well as overharvesting by the now-illegal tree octopus trade.

The history of the tree octopus trade is a sad one. Their voracious appetite for bird plumes having exhausted all the worthy species of that family, the fashionistas moved on to cephalopodic accoutrements during the early 20th Century. Tree octopuses became prized by the fashion industry as ornamental decorations for hats, leading greedy trappers to wipe out whole populations to feed the vanity of the fashionable rich. While fortunately this practice has been outlawed, its effects still reverberate today as these millinery deprivations brought tree octopus numbers below the critical point where even minor environmental change could cause disaster.


91 thoughts on “save the endangered tree octopus

  1. Mmmm! Arboreal sushi!

    –Saaay–doesn’t that sound like a great name for a band?

    I have in my attic a rather fine ensemble worn by my great-grandmother, including a Red Madrona wrap & muffler, with matching hat. She also left me a plain but rare drape made from a feathered boa.

    I am deeply ashamed. I had no idea the Madrona was extinct. I’m going to put it on eBay and auction it. Scarcity should drive the price through the roof!

    But it’s not about me, really. With at least 2% of the proceeds (after taxes and overhead) I will start a small nature preserve where tree octopi can live in peace, die in their sleep, and make a conscious choice to donate their bodies to outerwear.

  2. No tree octopus would trust you; you’d call the cops on them! And the feathered boa is sacred to the indigenous peoples of the Yucatan; shame on you for thinking of it only for profit.

    Curtis, you will have to switch to octofu sooner or later as the supplies of the real thing run out. Better make it sooner, for the sake of the planet.

  3. Dear R-C

    Please tell Mr Metro = the plural is tree octopodia

    I hope his Nature Reserve will secure enough funding to provide capacious, well-heated homes for Metro & his Supporters because they will have to reside there to best=preserve the habitat of these delightful Arboreal Octopodia

    Do you think that , like Pandas, there should be a captive breeding for this highly intelligent species on both sides of the Pond !!??!!

    Tot siens

    G E

  4. Well I was thinking of a Planned Reserve, kind of halfway between arboreal wilderness and captive breeding.

    Something in an area that can provide a decent range of temperatures for the various species of tree octopi (correct per North American usage–octopodia or octopods is the Continental term.)–for example Hawaii.

    Naturally, a certain percantage of trees will likely have to be removed to provide proper mobility–tree octopi flourish where there is adequate tree-to-tree clearance to promote swinging.

    To prevent damage to the forest floor, we will need several acess roads–a minimal intrusion. None of the roads need be over six lanes wide at any point. To ensure the safety of migrating pods of octopi, speed will be limited to 100 km/h (60 mph).

    The requirements for housing staff to maintain the habitat are simple: pink-stuccoed, four-bedroom structures with minimal amenities including fridge, stove, microwave, dishwasher, jacuzzi (invented by Jacuzzi Cousteau), and sauna. To help the octopi withstand harsh winters, we will provide attached, heated shelters roughly the size of two Hummers parked side-by-side, with garage-style doors. In times when octopus housing requirments allow, these sheds may be used by staff for the storage of tools of vehicles.

    Naturally, concrete-lined ponds will be placed in all forest-facing areas to encourage viewing of the tree octopi in their natural habitat, allowing unparalleled views of this charismatic phantafauna as they emerge from the forest canopy to drink at sunrise and sunset. To avoid the scourge of bio-contamination, a small quantity of chlorine may be added to the water in these ponds.

    Of course the herds of octopi we expect to eventually cultivate will require enormous open space. To that end we will open some space by a program of selective hardwood de-planting, and re-cultivation with turf. We will create 18 small nesting holes, about 300 yards apart, and permit avid tree octopus watchers to scatter the landscape with dummy octopus eggs, to encourage propagation. The dummy eggs, which are dimpled orbs about 2″ in diameter, will be launched into the environment using a selection of appropriate tools, carried by special bearers from among our staff. We expect that we may be able to charge visitors for this nature experience, thus rendering the nesting area self-financing.

    Naturally this habitat will be expensive. We intend, however, to mitigate the expense by allowing admirers of the tree octopus to rent or purchase small luxury vacation homes, similar to the staff cabins) near the nesting grounds. We anticipate that by carefully blending the use of the octopus reserve, we may be able to create 400 such establishments, sharing space cheek-by-beak with the cephalopod population.

    We intend to call this new nature preserve “Octopus Village”.

    Oh–and wait ’till you hear about the shared-use octopus interaction casino!

  5. Metro, now I know you are a middle-aged Republican. Very sneaky, but to no avail; the Arboreal Octopod Breeding Grounds program will proceed without you and your no-doubt tight golf shirt wearing, lite beer swilling buddies. I bet they wear knee socks with shorts, too.

  6. Dear Metro

    An Impressive Business plan

    There is need of haste, before the flocks of Tree Octopodia dwindle below viable breeding numbers – I am especially anxious about the doubtful future of the Feathered Tree Octopus, which is a vital Evolutionary step as these delicious creatures are evolving towards the mastery of true flight

    I wonder if Newmania would agree to be a Patron for this Worthy Project – he would provide that English, Islingtonian Panache, so admired by Americans

    Would these intelligent Crustaceans really notice if there were (sorry, was – North American Usage) some minimal culling to provide for multitudinous Japanese Gourmands (err … Gourmets, in American usage) – a useful income stream for so admirable a Project

    High salaries will be requisite, if high-quality Operatives are to be attracted to work for the Tree-Octopodia, instead of saving the Planet by working for those equally endangered creatures – Mr Blair or Mr Bush

    You certainly need a dynamic & determined Project Manager – can I throw in a good word for Regen-Coaster

    I have the honour to remain your (& the Tree Octopodia’s) obedient servant and

    Yours ever

    G Eagle

  7. Mmm, tree octopus cooked in it’s own ink, yummy. You can’t get them any more though, such a delicacy. The wild one’s have the best flavour of course, hand reared just hasn’t got that certain… bouquet.

  8. It’s probably what your golf buddies dunk in their lite beer.

    G.Eagle, octopodia are not crustaceans! Please keep your icky sea creatures straight; we take such things very seriously around these parts.

    Metro; I don’t doubt they’re listing your comments as spam: there are Nigerian penis enhancing corporations that don’t try to make as many comments as you do.

  9. Dear Monsieur Metro

    Perhaps if you or I (or the perceptive Newmania) were an available Mr Darcy & had a Canuckistani Pemberley & Ten Thousand a year to bring to the Party, perhaps Keira Regen-Coaster might re=fashion her incisive observations to the gentler & more delicate end of the Spectrum

    However, we must not be distracted from our glorious & noble Project of saving this sole living representative of the 3rd Family of Octopodia

    It is the only Octopus able to mimic green (rather than red & yellow) as it swings from tree to tree, while escaping from fierce Gourmet-Predators like Philipa, understandably eager to secure an alternative to battered Spam

    It would be quite a coup if we could secure Mr NeuMenschia, who will (inshallah) soon be the future Mayor of Londinium, to become Patron for this Heroic & Romantic adventure

    It would certainly enhance his Green Credentials – it could facilitate twinning Islington with a small Coastal Town just North of Seattle but mercifully outside the American Republic – it would be such a Life-Enriching experience (& vote-winning opportunity) for all Islington’s Sea-Scouts to have the opportunity of a Council=sponsored Meeting with these attractive Arboreal Molluscs

    I have the honour to remain your obedient servant and

    Tot siens

    G Eagle

  10. Okay, some people believe this Tree Octopus thing, but it is nonexistent.

    Number one, ALL the pictures and text about this alleged species come from the same domain (, but more specifically There is no legitimate documentation or site which mentions this species. In fact, the site was only made to test a group of 7th graders. They did not use a real species. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the site was worded in a legitimate sounding way.

    Number two, I use Photoshop, and I’m telling you that each and every picture of the octopus could have been faked. For example, Sasquatch is, according to all legitimate scientists and zoologists, nonexistent. But SOMEHOW they have a picture of Sasquatch’s arm about to grab an octopus (who isn’t trying to get away) in a tree. ( Note that this is also from the domain.

    Number three, the site ( says that supports the saving of this octopus. THERE IS NO SUCH SITE!!! And it is not a typo. They even have a picture of a greenpea behind the words.

    Number four, their alleged sitings ( are all obviously fake. Any octopus would use it’s skin color ability to blend in with its background, but non of the photos show the octopuses doing that. If a tree octopus would have been spotted in real life, people wouldn’t have placed them in the far corner of the frame while photographing them. They would have made sure it was big in the picture. There wouldn’t likely be a picture of someone walking in the woods and later noticing an octopus in the photo. And the photo comparing the “brightened” photo with one taken with a heat reading camera is obviously false because the two octopuses are oriented exactly the same way.

    I’m sure there are many other things which indicate that the whole thing is a fake, but any one thing I mentioned should be enough to dispel any false notions.

    So please, do not believe this falsehood. I can just imagine a world full of people worried about a nonexistent octopus.

  11. Give him credit–apart from the word “sitings” it is at least well-spelt.

    But I think you should delete that comment–it’s obviously from an evil landlord attempting to subvert my Tree Octopus Theme Park … I mean Nature Reserve

  12. NOT AT ALL!

    We are simply waiting till the great National Geographic experiment will conclude. Any day now…

    And btw we are all up on the cloning experiment as well!

  13. Octopi and octopuses are both accepted. Octopuses is more common. I wasn’t speaking to the smart ones here, BTW.

  14. Octopuses is more American. Octopi is more Canuckistan.

    Anything that will eat anything unquestioned after midnight is something in which I am inherently interested in. Call me, biotch!

  15. How could I not believe the Longhorse? I eat them every Saturday night. But the Longhorse’s distant relative, the New Swaziland Shorthorse, once common to France and Argentina, is down to 2 living specimens. And they are not protected by law since they murderously eat pumpkins and peas and look like donkeys.

  16. You know, the way G Eagle writes, ignoramuses might think he is serious and believe an annoying false thing to be true.

  17. The Most Honourable the Marchioness of Witchhampton under Buzzard

    My Lady Marchioness

    “Octopodia”, dammit

    It’s bad enough that so many of these sagacious & perceptive Colonials are UnBelievers & Democrats

    but so long as Monsieur Metro gets an over-generous Funding for his Tree Octopodia Theme Park, surely Federal Funding should be made available to teach spelling to these Ignoramoi

    Your Grace’s obedient servant etc

    G E

  18. Dear Jedermann

    Just like the lady Mlle RegenCoaster – to insist on having le Mot Dernier

    Yr obedtt servant etc

    Tot siens

    G Eagle

  19. you dont have to believe me, but this tree octupus thing is not true.

    have you tried clicking the “donate” button? it brings you to a error page becasue there is no tree octupus. also, look at the ribbon. doesn’t it look fimilar, like a breast cancer ribbon?
    most people think that because it is the 4 or 5 link on google, that it is the best website with the best and most information, but its not true. The makers of the website pay to have the website 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

    i highly doubt that there are endangered tree octopusus (octopi)in the rainforest of washington….

  20. Another doubter. The fact that the link goes to a non-page simply means that fundraising efforts must be redoubled!!!

    Also: whoever told you about Google being paid for rank is lying. People can pay to be put in a box at the top of the rankings which are paid placements, but they’re quite distinct from the regular search results. If the Tree Octopus Campaign can’t afford to keep its website up, it certainly can’t afford to pay Google for placement!

    Also: the Support the Troops ribbons look a lot like the breast cancer ribbons, which themselves look a lot like the AIDS ribbons. Is there no war in Iraq? Is there no mission in Afghanistan? Is there no breast cancer?

    Pah! Doubters!

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  24. Anais – Besmirch not our friend, the arboreal octopi! With great effort, they can be found in the branches of coniferous trees. The website needs to be updated though because they have recently been spotted living in the hills immediatly surrounding Dabob Bay. Just two weeks ago (before all this snow of course) I was up at my cabin overlooking the bay, when, from the corner of my eye, I caught the movment of a tentaculating Octopus paxarbolis (“Op” or “Oppies”) carefully drawing itself up a trunk. I ran back to the cabin to get my camera, but by the time I returned it was nowhere to be seen. They aren’t know to be fast movers, but when they feel mildly threatened they are quite adept at camoflauging themselves.

    As an intersting aside, the clothing line Op was originally named after Oppies. It was only when the company was purchased by a non-local group that wasn’t familiar with the creature, and the original owners refused to provide a live example of one (they were endangered even then) to the new owners that the name was changed to “Ocean Pacific.” If those Op-athiests had been willing to just have a little faith, all the surfers would know the plight of the Oppies today.

    ~Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  25. You think:

    A: she’d have an issue with gayness?
    B: she wouldn’t want an environmental impact assessment called immediately?
    C: she would doubt, for even a second? Absence of proof is nothing more nor less than proof of tragic extinction, like duh!

  26. Bir, ikki, ooch, dirt, besh

    Nil rei publicae desperandum est

    Quite – Valarmorghulis & Heather couldn’t express it more concisely

    Das ist es, doch

  27. Your Grace

    Salve [Hi]

    My mistake – V really means :

    Wha daur meddle wi’ me? [“Cha togar m’ fhearg gun dìoladh” in Scottish Gaelic”]

    Hat-tip to Wikipedia

    ie No-one wounds me with impunity

    Vale (All the Best – ie Goodbye]

    G Eagle

  28. I’m also amazed. I could have solved this with Wikipedia???? That seem so…cheap. Like waking up in a sheetless bed in a Motel 6 by the highway, the deadbolt long since busted.

  29. u no wat i do NOT believe in this bullcrap cuz its stupid and guess wat wait wats that in my tree it its a tree-shark ya oh wait its just a branch srry or is it!!!!????

  30. man get this shit off the intrnet no women would walk around with that shit of blob with legs on there heads for one for 2 this shit is fake and all points stupid i hav not seen one octipuses in a tree at all so i know this shit is fake there rubber at that

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  34. Apt Punctuation would facilitate comprehension

    Did Monsieur Metro ever get his Funding for a Tree Octopodia Park ???

  35. No, as far as I’m aware, Metro has not yet received approval for his planned park. But I DID see a tree octopus recently, so at least they’re still alive in selected corners of the Urban Jungle.

    cthulhu lemon
    Squidmas Tree

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